Monthly Archives: November 2009

STORY DESTINATION

Where does your story begin? Every writer has to draw on their life experiences when creating something someone else wants to read. Everything that you encounter in life can be brought into your story. Were you picked on in school? What emotions did that stir up inside of you? Were you prom queen? Did you lose someone you love?

We are all so different yet so alike. If you can tap into the human experience and convey it to reader’s in a way that makes them tap into it, you have an opportunity to help them interpret life by using the gift of words.

Your story begins at home, takes flight somewhere in the middle and ends wherever you decide. Here’s to your destination. I hope your journey to it is worth writing about.

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REMEMBERING A CHARACTER

 

One of my favorite writing’s by Edgar Allan Poe is the Tell-Tale Heart. I love this story because it has a character that I can never forget. When I am doing character building for a story I think of the man with the vulture eye and then ask myself if my characters will leave a lasting impression or will they be forgotten about in no time.  There are so many things that can make a character interesting, whether it is a specific trait, an unforgettable name or a specific article of clothing. I am the type of person that will remember the story only if I remember the characters in the story.

 

I’d like to hear your opinions. Who are some of your favorite characters? What did you love about them? What do you remember most about them?

 

 

 

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Looking for help

I realize that by writing this post, I might set myself up to look stupid, but for the sake of my sanity I need to see if anyone out there can help me.

I use microsoft word when writing. I have discovered that when I try to copy and paste my queries and ms pages to my e-mail everything transmits crazily. My paragraphs are off, my sentences are broken and nothing looks pretty. I have adjusted everything I could see and then attempted to send it to myself. Errors still show up and I am ready to pull my hair out.

Does anyone in the blogosphere have any good advice for me. My husband works with some technical geniuses, they were willing to try and fix it for me but had no advice on how I can fix this myself. Any writer’s out there run into this problem?

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Write It Out

My favorite part of writing is getting those gooey feelings that rush through your soul when writing an intense scene. I know I am heading in the right direction when those feelings come. For me, it’s like an outer body experience. I am reading my own words but forgetting for a second that I created them. I know it sounds deep and maybe a tad bit strange but I look at it as a separation of self.

I want to enjoy reading what I am writing in the same way I would enjoy someone else’s writings. I want to get lost in my story and anticipate what’s to come.  Writing is like solving a complicated math problem. You have to add, subtract and sometimes carry over thoughts and words until you come up with the answer. Once you know the answer is correct you get that sense of accomplishment that makes you feel like you can tackle another problem.  As long as you’re willing to stay in the game and write it out, your story will end up with the right solution.

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Perfect

My favorite mug

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Contest

I love reading about strong female protagonists. There is nothing like a hot mama kicking ass. A Better Part of Darkness by Kelly Gay is up for grabs over at Suzie Townsend’s blog -Confessions of a Wandering Heart.  Her link is on my sidebar under blogroll, click on for your chance to win.

I hope to win this book but if I don’t it will surely be added to my must reads.

Good Luck to everyone who enters.

 

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Confidence

Confidence is knowing one day you will watch your dreams become your reality.

I have spent years learning the ins and outs of the writing world. I have watched my ideas transform into stories. My earliest writings still make me cringe but even at the time I believed in them and worked hard at making them better.

I have stood on the sidelines and cheered fellow writers on. Their success truly is exciting. Watching someone else succeed is inspirational enough to keep you persevering.

I will not bash an agent for rejecting me. I will however take their rejections and neatly tuck them away so I can remind myself how hard I have worked for my dream.  Anyone who writes is taking that podium and attempting to publicly speak. Public speaking is the number one fear but the most satisfying one to overcome.

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Nanoing

I hit 6110.00 words. I keep trying to steal moments away so that I can write but with a house full of life, and I mean full, sometimes finding time is hard.

The story keeps evolving and the characters keep whispering new details in my ear. It’s a dark story. I am surprising myself because usually I am not a dark writer. I stepped out of my box and to be honest it feels natural. I am sure I will find a way to lighten it up.

How is everyone else out there doing with there Nano novel?

I was psyched with my numbers until I saw my friend is at 25,000 words. I need to get writing. I have a free moment. It’s in my best interest that I take advantage of it.

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Try Again

I received another rejection today and I feel misty eyed. I am at a point where I am confused. I have taken two writing courses and had my novel critiqued many many times. I have researched extensively the art of query writing. I have prayed and prayed but nothing seems to be happening.

I am willing to work hard and I accept criticism very well but the reason I am confused is because I don’t know what I am doing wrong.

I thought by taking a course where I had an acclaimed author as an instructor would provide me with an insight on whether or not my story had promise. I walked away from the course feeling warm, cozy and optimistic.

 I sit here today feeling less hopeful but not less determined. Perseverance is necessary in this business. I plan to persevere!

 

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Interview with Maribeth Graham

I love reading author’s blogs and learning new things about others who share the same passion for writing as I do. I especially enjoy reading interviews. I don’t have anyone knocking on my door as of yet to ask me for an interview so I thought I would make up my own just in case someone stumbled upon my blog and wanted to know a little bit more about me.

Question: Maribeth, when did you discover that you wanted to become a writer?

Answer: I always loved to write but didn’t realize it was always my passion until my late twenties. A stop at a Halloween tent introduced me to an ugly witch that I happened to fall in love with. I went home and wrote a story about a little girl who sees the glass half empty until she encounters someone whose life is much more difficult than her own. By the end of the story she learns that there are always other people who have it harder. After writing the story the light bulb turned on and I never looked back.

Question: What did you do once you realized that writing was your passion?

Answer: I literally ran out to Walden’s Book Store and purchased books on how to get published.

Question: Then what?

Answer: There was a reference to the Institute of Children’s Literature and the benefits of taking courses on writing. I immediately signed myself up and was amazed to find out how much I didn’t know about the craft of writing.

Question: Did the ICL help you?

Answer: Absolutely, before I took the course I had no idea how to set up a manuscript page or write in a way that would allow the reader to get lost in something that I wrote. Show don’t tell was a valuable lesson I learned. After completing the first course (Writing for Children’s Magazine’s) I took a second course which helped me complete my first middle-grade novel.

Question: What is your Middle-grade novel about?

Answer: About five friends who get into trouble with the school principal and are given a summer assignment that change their lives.

Question: Can you tell some juicy parts?

Answer: I will tell you that my story deals with friendship, death, love, abuse and forgiveness.

Question: Have you attempted to get your story out there. Do you think it will be published?

Answer: I wholeheartedly believe in my story and know eventually the right person will read it and take it to where it is meant to be. I currently have queries out and I am hopeful that someone will be intrigued by the story.

Question: Tell us what else you have done to further your career.

Answer: I have joined critique groups and had the opportunity to have my work looked at by some very talented authors. I have attended Meet the Editors conferences, started a blog and joined Twitter. I am the type of person who constantly educates myself on the craft of writing. I want to be able to say that I have done everything in my power to become the best I could at the craft I love.

Question: Do you write in hopes of becoming rich?

Answer: I remember early on I read that if your motive behind writing is to become rich and famous then chances are you will let yourself down. I think every writer hopes that their work will be discovered and well received. I write because I have to, it is what I was born to do. If I am not writing a major piece of who I am is missing.

Question: What projects are you currently working on?

Answer: I have about five chapters of a new middle-grade novel. It is a fantastical story. I am completely in love with the characters. This year I surprised myself and entered NaNoWriMo after I dreamt of a story that wouldn’t leave my mind. I have over 5000 words so far. I am curious to see where this one takes me.

Question: Is there anything that you would want agents or publishers to know about you?

Answer: Only that I consider myself a genuine person who is dedicated to the craft of writing. I take constructive criticism very well and know that without criticism a person will never grow. A person who cannot take criticism is failing to see the person they could become.  I won’t give up! My patience and perseverance will lead me to the future that I am intended to have.

Question: What if that future isn’t what you are hoping for?

Answer: Sometimes what we are hoping for is something less than we are meant to have. I am an optimist, I see sunshine in my future and if a little rain comes I have no problem getting wet.

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